MASS gatherings in higher educational institutions (HEIs), such as colleges and universities, in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status are now allowed provided that they adhere to health protocol.
This was one of the amendments made by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in its Resolution 47 issued Friday, June 19, 2020.
“Mass gatherings in higher educational institutions shall follow the existing guidelines under MGCQ,” read a portion of the five-page resolution. “Accordingly, the prohibition on mass gatherings in higher educational institutions is hereby deleted.”
The IATF agreed to allow mass gatherings under MGCQ areas but only at 50 percent of the venue’s seating capacity to make sure that physical distancing is observed.
These include religious gatherings and activities, entertainment activities like theaters and cinemas and sports activities, among others.
The IATF now allows HEIs to conduct limited face-to-face classes in MGCQ areas provided there is compliance with health protocols and guidelines from the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) and consultation with local government units (LGUs.)
Maximo Aljibe, director of the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) 7, said the Ched central office and the Department of Health have yet to release guidelines on limited face-to-face classes in MGCQ areas.
Earlier, the IATF, as recommended by the Ched, had said that the opening of classes will be based on education delivery mode: HEIs with full online education can open anytime; HEIs using flexible learning can open anytime in August; HEIs using significant face-to-face or in-person mode can open not earlier than Sept. 1 in areas under general community quarantine; and no face-to-face classes will be held until Aug. 31.
Another amendment made to the Omnibus Guidelines on Community Quarantine was the exemption of public utility vehicles from local curfew ordinances.
The IATF said LGUs are enjoined to enact necessary ordinances to enforce curfew only for non-workers in jurisdictions under modified enhanced community quarantine, general community quarantine and MGCQ.
Public transportation, however, will not be restricted by such curfew ordinances. (WBS)